Saturday 15 August 2009

East London line phase 2 - Surrey Canal Road station

Anyone living in Deptford/New Cross surrounds can't fail to know about the East London Line extension - the ELL stations at New Cross and New Cross Gate have been closed for phase one works for so long now, I've forgotten when it all started! However, the intention is that when work completes in June next year, we'll have a direct link north to Dalston Junction and south to Crystal Palace and West Croydon.

Earlier this year, the go-ahead was given for the second phase - and you can see on the map that the second phase, shown by the blue line, will offer a link to west London, bypassing the congested central London terminals. This would all come under the remit of the London Overground network, part of TFL.

As it stands on the map, not a great benefit for our area, given that you would have to either go up to Surrey Quays or drag along to Queens Road Peckham to access this line. What the map doesn't show is that TFL was also considering a station at Surrey Canal Road, which would do a lot to improve access for residents in New Cross and Deptford and would also offer additional capacity for future developments in the area.

But although the Department for Transport offered £7 million towards the estimated £10 million cost of building the station, TFL is claiming that the station does not offer 'value for money' and that it does not have the funding to build it.

Obviously it is important for publicly-funded organisations to assess all proposed capital works on value for money, but it is not clear what form this takes, and what aspects of the project and its benefits have been taken into account.

Some people, myself included, think that it would make sense to build this new station at the same time as you are building the line - if it was later found to be 'value for money' to build a station at this location, it would be a lot more expensive and inconvenient to have to build it retrospectively.

In order to try and put pressure on TFL to think again/on the DfT to plug the funding gap a campaign group has been set up along with an online petition.

For more information about the campaign, click here.

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